|Publication number||US7473653 B1|
|Application number||US 11/764,750|
|Publication date||Jan 6, 2009|
|Filing date||Jun 18, 2007|
|Priority date||Mar 31, 2003|
|Also published as||US7208389, US7799705, US7923385, US20090239390|
|Publication number||11764750, 764750, US 7473653 B1, US 7473653B1, US-B1-7473653, US7473653 B1, US7473653B1|
|Inventors||Qingguo Wu, Haiying Fu, David C. Smith, David Mordo|
|Original Assignee||Novellus Systems, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (84), Non-Patent Citations (45), Referenced by (12), Classifications (18), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a divisional claiming priority under 35 USC 120 from U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/927,777, filed on Aug. 27, 2004, titled “METHODS FOR PRODUCING LOW STRESS POROUS LOW-K DIELECTRIC MATERIALS USING PRECURSORS WITH ORGANIC FUNCTIONAL GROUPS,” by Wu et al. as inventors, which is a continuation-in-part claiming priority under 35 USC 120 from U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/672,311, filed on Sep. 26, 2003, which is now U.S. Pat. No. 7,208,389, issued on Apr. 24, 2007, titled “METHOD OF POROGEN REMOVAL FROM POROUS LOW-K FILMS USING UV RADIATION,” by Tipton et al. as inventors, which claims benefit under 35 USC 119 from U.S. Provisional No. 60/469,433, filed on May 9, 2003, titled “METHODS FOR PRODUCING LOW STRESS POROUS LOW-K DIELECTRIC MATERIALS USING PRECURSORS WITH ORGANIC FUNCTIONAL GROUPS,” by Wu et al. as inventors,” and which is a continuation-in-part claiming priority under 35 USC 120 from U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/404,693, filed on Mar. 31, 2003, titled “METHOD FOR FORMING POROUS FILMS BY POROGEN REMOVAL COMBINED WITH IN SITU SURFACE MODIFICATION,” by Humayun et al. as inventors, which applications are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties for all purposes. This application is also related to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/789,103, filed on Feb. 27, 2004, entitled “METHODS FOR PRODUCING LOW-K CDO FILMS WITH LOW RESIDUAL STRESS” by Wu et al. as inventors, which application is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety for all purposes.
This invention relates to methods for preparing a porous low-k film having low tensile stress and high mechanical strength. The methods involve the use of porogen technology. More specifically, the methods involve the deposition of a precursor film using one or more precursors with organic functional groups. Functional groups include moieties with carbon-carbon double or triple bonds and bulky organic groups. Once the precursor film is formed, the porogen is removed, leaving a low-k porous film. Methods of the invention provide a low stress, low-k porous film that can be used as a low-k dielectric layer in integrated circuits.
There is a general need for materials with low dielectric constants (low-k) in the integrated circuit manufacturing industry. Using low-k materials as the inter-metal and/or inter-layer dielectric of conductive interconnects reduces the delay in signal propagation due to capacitive effects. The lower the dielectric constant of the dielectric, the lower the capacitance of the dielectric and the lower the RC delay of the IC.
Low k dielectrics are conventionally defined as those materials that have a dielectric constant lower than that of silicon dioxide, that is k<˜4. Typical methods of obtaining low-k materials include doping silicon dioxide with various hydrocarbons or fluorine. These doping methods, however, generally cannot produce materials with dielectric constants lower than about 2.6. With more and more advanced technology needs, present efforts are focused on developing low-k dielectric materials with k less than 2.5. These ultra low-k dielectrics can be obtained by incorporating air voids within a low-k dielectric, creating a porous dielectric material.
Methods of fabricating porous dielectrics typically involve forming a composite film (sometimes referred to herein as a “precursor film”) containing two components: a porogen (typically an organic material such as a polymer) and a structure former or dielectric material (e.g., a silicon containing material). Once the composite film is formed on the substrate, the porogen component is removed, leaving a structurally intact porous dielectric matrix. Techniques for removing porogens from the composite film typically include, for example, a thermal process in which the substrate is heated to a temperature sufficient for the breakdown and vaporization of the organic porogen.
One issue with producing low-k porous materials relates to the fact that generally the more porous the material is (that is, the more air voids within the dielectric matrix), the lower the dielectric constant. In general, a lower dielectric constant is desirable. However, incorporating air voids may also diminish the film's mechanical strength and integrity, including increasing the film's intrinsic residual stress.
What are needed therefore are improved methods for forming porous dielectric low-k films with reduced tensile stress and improved mechanical integrity.
The present invention addresses the aforementioned need by providing improved methods of preparing a low stress, low-k dielectric material on a substrate using precursors with various functional groups. In some preferred embodiments of the present invention, methods involve (a) forming a precursor film on the substrate, the precursor film comprising a porogen and a structure former, wherein the structure former has one or more carbon-carbon double or triple bonds, and (b) treating the precursor film to facilitate removing the porogen from the precursor film and thereby creating voids within the dielectric material to form the porous low-k dielectric material. In some preferred embodiments, methods involve (a) forming a precursor film on the substrate, the precursor film comprising a porogen and a structure former, wherein the porogen has at least one bulky organic functional group, and (b) treating the precursor film to facilitate removing the porogen from the precursor film and thereby creating voids within the dielectric material to form the porous low-k dielectric material.
In most cases, the structure former will contain derivatives of silicon. The precursor film can be produced by co-depositing the structure former precursor with a porogen precursor or the structure former and porogen can both be obtained from the structure former precursor and no separate porogen precursor is deposited with the structure former precursor.
Examples of suitable structure former precursors that contain C≡C and/or C═C include trimethylsilylacetylene (TMSA), bis(trimethylsilyl)acetylene (BTMSA), triethynylcyclotrisiloxane derivatives, trivinylcyclotrisiloxane derivatives, vinylmethyldimethoxysilane (VMDMOS), methyldimethoxysilaneacetylene (MDMSA), methyldiethoxysilaneacetylene (MDESA), dimethylmethoxysilaneacetylene (DMMSA), dimethylethoxysilaneacetylene (DMESA), methylethoxysilane-di-acetylene (MESDA), divinylmethylethoxysilane (DVMEOS), 1,3,5-trivinyl-1,3,5-trimethylcyclotrisiloxane (VMTS) and 1,3,5-trivinyl-1,3,5-triisopropylcyclotrisiloxane (VPTS). The structure former precursor may also have a bulky organic group. Examples of these bulky organic structure former precursors include, for example, 5-(bicycloheptenyl)methyldimethoxysilane (BMDS), 5-(bicycloheptenyl)triethoxysilane (BTS) and 5-(bicycloheptenyl)diethoxysilaneacetylene (BDS).
The porogen precursor is preferably an organic material that can be easily removed by subsequent processes. One preferred class of porogen precursor is polyfunctional cyclic non-aromatic compounds. More preferably, the polyfunctional cyclic non-aromatic compounds also contains at least one carbon-carbon triple or double bond. Particular examples of preferred compounds are 5-ethylidene-2-norbornene (ENB), 8,8-dimethylfulvene (DMF) and beta-pinene (BP).
The precursor film can be formed using a CVD process (e.g., a plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) technique), a spin-on process, or another condensed phase method. In preferred embodiments, PECVD techniques are used. For PECVD methods, preferred deposition temperatures typically range between about 25 and 400 degrees Celsius, more preferably between about 100 and 300 degrees Celsius. After the precursor film is formed, treatments such as thermal treatment, plasma treatment, ultraviolet radiation exposure, e-beam exposure, or a combination thereof are used to facilitate removal of the porogen.
These and other features and advantages of the invention will be described in detail below with reference to the associated drawings.
The following detailed description can be more fully understood when considered in conjunction with the drawings in which:
In the following description, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention, which pertains to formation of porous dielectric materials. The present invention may be practiced without some or all of these specific details. In other instances, well known process operations have not been described in detail to not unnecessarily obscure the present invention. While the invention will be described in conjunction with the specific embodiments, it will be understood that it is not intended to limit the invention to the embodiments.
The present invention involves forming a porous low-k dielectric material by way of a “precursor film” or “precursor layer” that contains a “structure former,” typically a silicon and oxide containing dielectric material, which serves as a backbone of the porous network, and a porogen, which generates the porous regions within the porous network. Hence, the porogen and dielectric matrix typically exist as separate phases within the precursor layer. After the precursor film is formed, the porogen is removed from the precursor film to create a dielectric matrix or porous film. Thus, the locations within the precursor film where the porogen once resided become void locations in the final porous dielectric film.
In methods of the invention, there are two general approaches to forming the precursor film. Both of these approaches should be kept in mind as viable techniques that can be used in accordance with methods of the invention. In one approach, a structure former precursor and a porogen precursor is co-deposited on a substrate to create the precursor film. The structure former precursor and porogen precursor may be co-deposited in one process or in a multiple-phase process. Of course, more than one type of structure former precursor molecule and more than one type of porogen precursor molecule may be used in any suitable combination. In an alternative approach, the structure former precursor comprises both the structure former and porogen. That is, the structure former precursor contains moieties serving as structure formers covalently bonded to moieties, preferably large bulky organic constituents, serving as the porogen. Thus, in the latter approach, the structure former precursor can be deposited without a separate porogen precursor to form the precursor layer. Also in the latter approach, more than one type or structure former precursor may be used to form the precursor film.
The present invention involves producing low-k porous dielectric film with improved film mechanical integrity. One measure of mechanical integrity is residual stress. Residual stress is comprised of an extrinsic stress component and an intrinsic stress component. Extrinsic stress is produced from a source external to the film. In integrated circuits, extrinsic stress is typically caused by the mismatch in thermo-mechanical properties between a dielectric layer and the underlying substrate, especially a mismatch in their thermal expansion coefficients. Lowering deposition temperature will minimize the extrinsic stress in a film, as will a smaller mismatch in coefficients of thermal expansion between the film and the substrate. Intrinsic stress can be traced to the film-growth mechanism and the final lattice structure of the dielectric material. From a materials standpoint, the intrinsic stress in porous dielectric films is determined by the integrity of the dielectric backbone structure. The present invention primarily focuses on improving the intrinsic stress of the porous film while maintaining a low dielectric constant.
As indicated previously, the precursor layer comprises a structure former and porogen. In some preferred embodiments of the present invention, the structure former includes at least two carbon atoms that are double or triple bonded. In these cases, the carbon-carbon double and triple bonds are preferably directly adjacent to the silicon atom in the structure former precursor. Many different chemical compositions may be used as the structure former precursor. In most cases, the structure former precursor includes at least silicon and oxygen since in many cases the network backbone is silicon oxide based. The structure former precursor may also include other elements such as halides. For relatively thick precursor layers, it will sometimes be desirable to use structure formers that are not opaque to the UV radiation if UV radiation methods are used to subsequently remove the porogen.
Examples of preferred structure former precursors include various organic silanes and organic siloxanes. Some specific examples of suitable structure former precursor with carbon-carbon double bonds include trivinylcyclotrisiloxane derivatives, tetravinylcyclotetrasiloxane derivatives, vinylmethyldimethoxysilane (VMDMOS) and divinylmethylethoxysilane (DVMEOS). Some specific examples of suitable structure former precursor with carbon-carbon triple bonds include triethynylcyclotrisiloxane derivatives, trimethylsilylacetylene (TMSA), bis(trimethylsilyl)acetylene (BTMSA), methyldimethoxysilaneacetylene (MDMSA), methyldiethoxysilaneacetylene (MDESA), dimethylmethoxysilaneacetylene (DMMSA), dimethylethoxysilaneacetylene (DMESA), methylethoxysilane-di-acetylene (MESDA), 1,3,5-trivinyl-1,3,5-trimethylcyclotrisiloxane (VMTS) and 1,3,5-trivinyl-1,3,5-triisopropylcyclotrisiloxane (VPTS). In some cases, the structure former precursor additionally contains bulky organic functional groups. Once deposited, the bulky organic functional groups will be considered part of the porogen in the precursor film since they will also be removed to leave void regions in the resultant porous film. As such, these structure former precursors that contain bulky organic functional groups may be deposited with or without a porogen precursor. Examples of these types of structure former precursors include 5-(bicycloheptenyl)methyldimethoxysilane (BMDS), 5-(bicycloheptenyl)triethoxysilane (BTS) and 5-(bicycloheptenyl)diethoxysilaneacetylene (BDS).
Although not wishing to be bound by theory, it is believed that carbon-carbon double and triple bonds as part of the structure former precursor promotes cross-linking, i.e., polymerization, within the structure former, which has been found to strengthen the integrity of the dielectric backbone and reduce internal stress of the film. It is believed that the carbon-carbon double and/or triple bonds promote cross-linking by introducing additional bonds of different length, bonds of different angles. And, in fact, it has been found through this invention that intrinsic stress can be reduced by incorporating carbon-carbon double and/or triple bonds. Some more details as to how carbon-carbon double and triple bonds relate to the intrinsic stress and other mechanical properties of a non-porous dielectric materials can be found in the previously mentioned U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/789,103, which is incorporated herein in its entirety.
Regarding the porogen, generally, a porogen is any removable material that defines void regions in a dielectric matrix. Frequently, though not necessarily, the porogen and corresponding porogen precursor are organic materials. One preferred class of porogen precursors is the polyfunctional cyclic non-aromatic compounds. In particular, the porogen precursor will preferably include functional groups such as —CH═CH2, —CH═CH—, —C≡CH, —C≡C—, —C═O and/or —COC—. One class of suitable compounds is norbornenes, such as 5-ethylidene-2-norbornene (ENB). Another typical example is 1,2,3,4-tetramethyl-1,3-cyclopentadiene (TMCP) (C9H14). A listing of more porogen precursor compounds can be found in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/672,311, which the present application is a continuation-in-part and which is incorporated herein in its entirety.
In some preferred embodiments of the present invention, the porogen has at least one bulky organic functional group. The bulky organic group could originate from the structure former precursor, as mentioned previously, or it could originate from the porogen precursor, if a porogen precursor is used. In other cases, both the structure former precursor and the porogen precursor have bulky organic groups. The bulky organic group will leave correspondingly sized pores in the resulting dielectric film. As such, to a large degree, one can choose the size of pores and the amount of void regions within the final porous film by the type and size of organic groups incorporated in the precursor film. It is generally desirable that the voids, and therefore the organic portions, i.e., porogen, be evenly distributed throughout the porous material and, to a certain extent, to be sufficiently large so as to incorporate more air in the film and thereby lower the overall dielectric constant of the film. Of course, the adding voids that are too large or that are not evenly distributed will sacrifice the integrity of the film. As known in the art, numerous suitable compounds can be classified as having bulky organic constituents, including those compounds having large linear or cyclic groups. In preferred embodiments, the bulky organic groups are three-dimensional polyfunctional groups that are spherical in shape. Examples of some preferable compounds include norbornenes, such as 5-ethylidene-2-norbornene (ENB). Other specific examples include 8,8-dimethylfulvene (DMF) and beta-pinene (BP). Some affects of using various porogen precursors on pore size, porogen concentration and dielectric constant are described by
In certain preferred embodiments, the structure former includes at least two carbon atoms that are double or triple bonded and one or both of the structure former and/or porogen has at least one bulky organic functional group. In these cases, the residual stress reduction provided by the carbon-carbon double and/or triple bonds in the structure former precursor is combined with the low-k properties provided by the large porous regions left by the bulky organic groups.
Regarding techniques for depositing the precursor film, any of numerous techniques may be used. Typical methods include spin-coating processes, print-on, dip coating, thermal process and chemical vapor deposition—particularly plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). Depending on the application, the thickness of the precursor film may range between about 30 nanometers and about 5 micrometers. Details of suitable deposition techniques are described in the cross-referenced and related references cited above and which are incorporated herein in their entireties. In preferred embodiments of the present invention, PECVD methods are utilized. It is noted that the invention is not limited to any particular type of deposition method. If PECVD processes are used, the deposition temperatures typically range between about 25 and about 450 degrees Celsius and chamber pressures typically range between about 1 Torr to 10 Torr. Of course, numerous factors dictate optimal deposition temperatures, gas flow rates and other process parameters.
The thickness of the precursor film (and hence the resulting porous dielectric layer) depends upon the ultimate application. As an example, the thickness may range between about 50 to 1500 angstroms for a hard mask application. For an interlayer dielectric or packaging application, the thickness may range up to about 0.1 to 5 microns. In some cases, extra thickness is required to provide some amount of sacrificial dielectric to accommodate a subsequent planarization step. In some cases, the thickness of the precursor layer may be driven in part by the ability of the UV radiation to penetrate the film and remove the porogen. Therefore relatively thinner precursor layers may be required for some processes.
Any suitable method may be used to remove the porogen from the precursor film. Preferred methods generally involve treating precursor film in such a manner that the porogen is at least partially decomposed and the decomposition products are volatilized away from the deposited precursor film. Typical methods include, for example, thermal processes (both slow and rapid), UV mediated methods wherein the precursor film is exposed to UV light, and e-beam methods. Note, however, the invention is not limited to any particular type of porogen removal method. For example, liquid solvent techniques may also be used. Note that the precursor layer formation and porogen removal operations can be conducted in a single vessel or in two separate vessels. Also, it is possible for a precursor layer formation and porogen removal to occur in one chamber and then for the substrate to be moved to a different chamber where more of the porogen is removed. In general, however, for mechanical simplicity, it is preferred to perform as many operations as possible in a single chamber.
After porogen removal, the resultant porous dielectric film will preferably have a dielectric constant less than about 2.7, preferably less than 2.5, and the low tensile stress, as measured by a Tencor FLX 5400 Automated Thin Film Stress Measurement System, will preferably be less than about 50 MPa.
Note that after the porogen is removed, any number of post porogen removal treatments may be implemented on the porous film. For example, a silanol capping process to replace dangling hydroxyl groups with non-polar groups (e.g., alkyl groups) and help the film maintain a low overall dielectric constant may be used. Details of some example suitable silanol capping methods are described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/672,311, which the present application is a continuation-in-part and which is incorporated herein in its entirety.
The following examples, Examples 1-6, are presented to help illustrate aspects of the invention. It should be understood that these examples are representative only, and that the invention is not limited by the detail set forth in these examples. Note also that the following examples are merely experimental and do not necessarily represent optimized conditions for preparing low-k, low stress porous films.
Example 1 illustrates eight porous films (Films A-F) prepared using different structure former precursors and porogen precursors (if used) using methods in accordance with the invention. Examples 2-6 illustrate the affects of using various process parameters such as precursor concentrations, flow rates, deposition temperatures and porogen removal techniques to prepare porous films.
The following porous films (Films A-F) have been formed using methods in accordance with the invention. In some cases, the films were prepared using a structure former precursor without double or triple carbon-carbon bonds (e.g., DEMS, TMCTS) but with a porogen precursor with a bulky organic group (e.g., ENB, BP) (see Films A, D, E and F). As previously described, ENB and BP porogen precursors have polyfunctional groups, which can extend their structures in three dimensions and form spherically-shaped, bulky functional polymer. In one case, the film was prepared using a structure former precursor with double or triple carbon-carbon bonds (i.e., BTMSA) and no porogen precursor was used (see Film B below). And in one case, the film was prepared using a structure former precursor with double or triple carbon-carbon bonds (i.e., BTMSA) with a porogen precursor having a bulky organic group (i.e., ENB) (see Film C below). The following are descriptions of the precursor compositions and processes conditions for preparing Films A-F, with resulting k values and intrinsic stress/hardness values. In all examples, PECVD methods were used to deposit the precursor films and UV exposure methods were used to remove the porogen to form the porous films.
Films A1, A2 and A3: Three porous films, A1, A2 and A3, were prepared with the following precursors and process conditions using different amounts of porogen precursor and structure former precursor. Precursors: DEMS structure former precursor and ENB is a porogen precursor. Deposition conditions: high frequency RF power of 2500 Watts, ENB flow rate of 3 ccm, DEMS at a flow rate of 2 ccm, CO2 flow rate of 6000 sccm, chamber pressure kept at 9.5 Torr, and deposition temperature of 250 degrees Celsius. Porogen removal conditions: UV exposure for 7 minutes.
Film B: Precursors: BTMSA structure former precursor only. Deposition conditions: high frequency RF power of 2200 Watts, BTMSA flow rate of 1.5 ccm, CO2 flow rate of 3000 sccm, chamber pressure kept at 7.5 Torr, and deposition temperature of 350 degrees Celsius. Porogen removal conditions: UV exposure for 2.5 minutes. The resulting porous film had a k value of 2.50.
Film C: Precursors: BTMSA structure former precursor and ENB porogen precursor. Deposition conditions: high frequency RF power of 1200 Watts and low frequency RF of 300 Watts, BTMSA flow rate of 2 ccm, ENB flow rate of 1 ccm, CO2 flow rate of 3000 sccm, chamber pressure kept at 7 Torr, and deposition temperature of 285 degrees Celsius. Porogen removal conditions: Thermal treatment for 4 hours. The resulting porous film had a k value of 2.55 and intrinsic stress value of 46 MPa.
Film D: Precursors: DEMS structure former precursor and ENB porogen precursor. Deposition conditions: high frequency RF power of 2500 Watts, DEMS flow rate of 2 ccm, ENB flow rate of 2 ccm, CO2 flow rate of 6000 sccm, chamber pressure kept at 9.5 Torr, and deposition temperature of 250 degrees Celsius. Porogen removal conditions: Thermal treatment for 4 hours, resulting k value of 2.37. Post-porogen removal treatment: UV exposure (1.75 W/cm2) for 4 minutes. The resulting porous film had a k value of 2.39 and hardness value of 1.4 GPa.
Film E: Precursors: TMCTS structure former precursor and ENB porogen precursor. Deposition conditions: high frequency RF power of 1200 Watts, TMCTS flow rate of 1 ccm, ENB flow rate of 0.5 ccm, CO2 flow rate of 5000 sccm, chamber pressure kept at 6 Torr, and substrate temperature of 70 degrees Celsius. Porogen removal conditions: Thermal treatment. The resulting porous film had a k value of 2.48.
Film F: Precursors: TMCTS structure former precursor and BP porogen precursor. Deposition conditions: high frequency RF power of 1000 Watts, TMCTS flow rate of 1 ccm, BP flow rate of 2 ccm, CO2 flow rate of 7000 sccm, chamber pressure kept at 7.5 Torr. Porogen removal conditions: Thermal treatment. The resulting porous film had a k value of 2.5.
The present invention can be implemented in many different types of apparatus. Generally, the apparatus will include one or more chambers (sometimes referred to as process vessels) that house one or more wafers and are suitable for wafer processing. In some cases, at least one chamber will include a UV source. A single chamber may be employed for all operations of the invention or separate chambers may be used. Each chamber may house one or more wafers for processing. The one or more chambers maintain the wafer in a defined position or positions (with or without motion within that position, e.g. rotation, vibration, or other agitation) during porogen removal and post porogen removal processes such as anneal and silanol capping, if used. For certain operations in which the wafer is to be heated, the apparatus may include a heating platen.
UV light source 707 is a xenon lamp or other source of UV radiation of the required characteristics. As indicated above, the UV light source may be a lamp or a laser (not shown), such as an excimer laser, capable of providing intense UV light. In cases where a laser is used, various optical elements may be required to direct the UV light toward portions of the substrate. Methods for directing the laser light at different portions of the substrate at different times will be required as well. In a specific embodiment, the UV source directs UV radiation on the substrate at an intensity of between about 1 μW/cm2 and 10 W/cm2 in the range of 200 to 400 nanometers.
Inert gas source 709, such as a nitrogen gas source, can provide inert gas to chamber 700. The amount of inert gas introduced into chamber 700 is controlled by valve 711 and is measured by pressure gauge 717. During normal operation, chamber 700 is first evacuated using vacuum pump 719, and then the inert gas or other gas is introduced to a certain chamber pressure. Next, UV light source 707 is turned on and light is directed onto substrate 703. If an oxygen containing process is employed, oxygen gas source 713 can provide oxygen to chamber 700 controlled by valve 715. Processes involving mixtures of inert gas and oxygen may also be utilized. In cases where UV radiation occurs under vacuum, vacuum pump 719 can be used to pump down chamber 700 and UV irradiation can occur without the introduction of gas.
Note that the apparatus depicted in
While this invention has been described in terms of several embodiments, there are alterations, modifications, permutations, and substitute equivalents, which fall within the scope of this invention. It should also be noted that there are many alternative ways of implementing the methods and apparatuses of the present invention. It is therefore intended that the following appended claims be interpreted as including all such alterations, modifications, permutations, and substitute equivalents as fall within the true spirit and scope of the present invention. The use of the singular in the claims does not mean “only one,” but rather “one or more,” unless otherwise stated in the claims.
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|U.S. Classification||438/781, 438/789, 427/557, 438/790|
|International Classification||C23C16/56, H01L21/469, C23C16/40, H01L21/31|
|Cooperative Classification||H01L21/02274, H01L21/02348, H01L21/02203, H01L21/31695, H01L21/02126|
|European Classification||H01L21/02K2E3B6B, H01L21/02K2C1L1, H01L21/02K2C5, H01L21/02K2T8L2, H01L21/316P|
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Year of fee payment: 8